Update (6:40 p.m.): Chris Paul is the catalyst for trade talks resuming. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Clippers management believed Boston would eventually come back to them out of a belief that the Celtics-Rivers relationship would be difficult to repair, but league sources told Y! Sports that Paul’s desire to play for Rivers – and with Garnett – has been a significant motivator for Los Angeles.
6:20 p.m.: When reports emerged yesterday that the Clippers-Celtics trade talks centered on Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett had ended, Kurt warned the deal wasn’t necessarily dead.
Well, the deal isn’t necessarily dead.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
Where did we leave off before the Clippers ended the discussion (and putting themselves in position to look foolish now by asking to restart it)?
The Celtics wanted DeAndre Jordan and two first-round picks. The Clippers were willing to trade Jordan and one first-round pick.
This doesn’t seem like an impossible gap to bridge. Maybe the Celtics accept a second-round pick or two instead of the second first-round pick. Maybe the Celtics accept tighter protections on the first-round picks. Or maybe the Celtics get both first-rounders but send Los Angeles a second-rounder. There are a lot of possibilities.
There’s also plenty of time to sort this out.
The Celtics can buy out Paul Pierce’s $15,333,334 contract for the 2013-14 season before July 1 for just $5 million. Until Boston commits to a decision on Pierce, the relevant factors for a trade with Los Angeles don’t really change.
The Clippers know this, and if they want Rivers and Garnett, they can wait to hire a head coach until Pierce’s fate is determined. That’s why Los Angeles isn’t acting as foolishly as it looks.
Until the Clippers hire another coach or the Celtics handle final year of Pierce’s contract, it’s difficult to believe this trade will truly die.